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Tonight's Buffy


Some very brief and random thoughts on tonight's episode:

Why the heck was Buffy so hoarse in the first couple scenes? And why was The First (in Buffy's shape) also very hoarse? Did SMG go to a big concert the night before filming, or something, and scream her head off?

Clem! No, don't drive to L.A. with all the other dummies, just because you've heard everyone is happy there since Jasmine came to town! I've missed Clem. Ah well. Maybe he'll appear on "Angel". :)

Loved pretty much Everything Xander in this episode, especially the hospital bits. Really touching, and I've been missing the Willow/Xander interaction for a long time now.

When Xander first walked in the door at Buffy's house, home from the hospital, and the big "Welcome Home" sign was hanging above the mantle with all the Potentials ranged beneath it, I turned to Shannon and said, "Welcome home! We got you a couple dozen young nubile girls!"

Loved that Andrew wrote "breakup sex" on the board during Anya's rambly ramble to the Potentials in the basement. He even underlined it for emphasis! Hee.

How much am I loving Faith? She was written brilliantly in this episode, in my opinion. Very consistant with the character's past, but also showing a new maturity and sensitivity that was very believable. But, you know, I don't think we've heard her say "five by five" yet since her return! Perhaps she's a pod person! Nah.

Loved Faith's remark about Anya's rambling about sex with Xander and shutting her up by commenting on the fact that she had him first. Hee! I love Faith.

Loved the role reversal between Buffy and Faith, with Faith now being the one people trust in a leadership role and Buffy being the one who's on the outside looking in because she's been too reckless. Beautifully predicted with Faith's lines when she first reappeared on the show this season in the graveyard -- where Spike and Buffy were very couply, I might add -- when she asked with some confusion whether she was the "good Slayer" now. So much in this episode was predicted in lovely ways earlier in the season, which made it very intellectually satisfying for me.

Kennedy beating up cops at The Bronze actually made me like her more than I had previously. Especially when she disarmed Mr. You'd All Better Stay Here, Little Ladies, Or I'll Fuck Your Shit Up.

I wonder what it is that "only she can wield", and what it does. Can't wait to find out! Seems like it implies that Buffy being separated from everyone else isn't necessarily bad, since "only she" can wield this important thing.

Wow, gotta say ... everybody's looking old. Faith, Willow, and Spike were the ones I noticed most. They look so much older than they did a few years ago. They're all getting a lot of wrinkles. I mean, I'm not one to talk, but I'm not on tv, ya know? And I'm not playing a vampire who isn't supposed to be aging, either. If Spike is going to continue to appear on "Angel", they're going to have to turn him human just to explain the aging.

Okay. Question time. Have I been reading way too much fanfic, or have other people thought that this season seems fanfic-aware? I keep getting the feeling that somebody out there's been reading fanfic and snickering, and then putting bits of it into the episodes. I mean ... Faith and Wood hooking up next week, while Spike and Buffy are cuddling in some hideaway together? And Spike and Xander looking at each other when Random Girl-In-Trouble asked if anyone present hadn't slept together? None of the other moments that struck me are leaping to mind right now, but I keep noticing things like this and wondering about them, but figure I'm just tainted by fanfic and seeing it everywhere.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
beamer242
Apr. 30th, 2003 12:54 am (UTC)
Why the heck was Buffy so hoarse in the first couple scenes? And why was The First (in Buffy's shape) also very hoarse? Did SMG go to a big concert the night before filming, or something, and scream her head off?

My thinking for Anya's where abouts during Dirty Girls was that Emma Caufield had been sick during filming, so the wrote her out of the episode. I wouldn't be surprised if SMG had gotten the same bug, causing her to lose her voice
kimberly_a
Apr. 30th, 2003 01:51 am (UTC)
Re:
I wouldn't be surprised. It sounded like laryngitis, it was so noticeable!
selenak
Apr. 30th, 2003 02:02 am (UTC)
Oh yes.
ME writers and fanfic: of course they are aware, but it started way before this season. You can especially see it in Jane Espenson's episodes. The Spike/Buffybot scenes in "Intervention", for example, are a (good natured) parody of many a Buffy/Spike fic ("Darn your sinister attraction!"). "Superstar", a season earlier, is Jane's brilliant parody of a Mary Sue story (Super!Jonathan is a better fighter than Buffy, smarter than Giles, better at Computers than Willow, tells the Initiative how to defeat Adam, gives sage romantic advise, and everyone, male or female, is in love with him).
Joss, Marti and Jane have also gone on record talking about fanfic in an approving manner. Most recent Joss quote, in reply to what the fans should do with their free hour: "Write fanfic."

JM and DB are both visibly aging, yes. Reminds me of "Highlander". If a show runs long enough, actors playing immortal characters do have this trouble. With DB, it was already apparant in the first season of Angel, when the episode "Prodigal" used clips from "Becoming" as well as adding new flashbacks. Which results in Liam looking younger and slimmer in the scene where Darla sires him than he does in the ones before, with his father and in the inn, or after, as a new vampire.

Andrew is just adorable. The most recent example of ME's ability to flesh out characters who started as clichés, and a highlight of the season.

SMG doesn't seem to have a good year, health wise. She also had a very obvious cold in "Potential". Still comes to work, though, and comes through with the acting. That woman is a trooper.

And agreed on the intellectual satisfaction of all the continuity and foreshadowing goodness. As I wrote in my own livejournal, the thing is that Anya and everyone else is really just voicing Buffy's own fears and doubts (as told to Holden). Doesn't mean either Buffy or Anya are right, though; it's a skewered perspective.

Here's another thought: the theme of trust lost is obvious, but so is the theme of trust build. In "Sleeper" and "Never Leave Me", Spike had hit rock bottom, and against the odds, against the seemingly incriminating circumstances, Buffy decided to make that leap of faith (no pun intended) and trust him. Why do I guess we'll get Spike's version of the "I believe in you" speech soon?




kimberly_a
Apr. 30th, 2003 12:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh yes.
ME writers and fanfic: of course they are aware, but it started way before this season.

Holy moly! Your examples make wonderful sense! I just hadn't been reading fanfic before about middle of season 6, and so I wasn't aware then. Thanks for pointing those eps out, because it gives me a completely different perspective on them. I still enjoy them the way I did first time 'round (and I *LOVED* both "Superstar" and "Intervention" the first time I saw them), but this just adds to my enjoyment.

Andrew is just adorable. The most recent example of ME's ability to flesh out characters who started as cliches, and a highlight of the season.

Yay! Someone besides Shannon (my husband) and me who still loves Andrew! I completely agree with you.

SMG doesn't seem to have a good year, health wise.

I'd forgotten about the cold in "Potential", but you're absolutely right. I suppose it's a compliment to both the show and her acting that both this time and while I was watching "Potential", my first thought was, "Hmm. Why is Buffy sounding like that? What happened in the previous episode that I'm not remembering?" Heh.

As I wrote in my own livejournal, the thing is that Anya and everyone else is really just voicing Buffy's own fears and doubts (as told to Holden). Doesn't mean either Buffy or Anya are right, though; it's a skewered perspective.

Yes! Everyone (well, except Spike) has stopped trusting Buffy, perhaps partially because she's overcompensating and being too bossy exactly because she's feeling insecure and not trusting herself! Trying to cover, you know? Because she can't let the kids see her questioning herself or they'll just fall apart ... they need to be able to trust that everything will be okay. And so she's been doubting herself, then being heavy-handed to try to cover up the fact that she's feeling unsure, which ironically makes everyone else doubt her as well.

So I find all the doubting completely believable ... but that doesn't mean any of them are right about it.

A good leader doesn't generally say, "Hmm. Everyone under my command sees this situation differently than I do. Tough luck for them." A good leader generally listens to other perspectives in order to make the wisest possible decision.

Buffy wasn't treating her troops with respect. I can understand why (she was clearly falling apart inside and trying to hold it together for the good of saving the world ... it's hard to listen to other people under those circumstances, and it's easier to just bark orders, lest you fall apart publicly by allowing the slightest amount of weakness to show), but that doesn't change the fact that she was doing it. And so it makes me sympathize with the rest of them, too.

I even understand why they kicked her out of the house. It was because she was basically saying, "I don't care what you think. You will do what I say, no matter how much you disagree." The one thing they all -- including Buffy -- agreed was that the group needs unity. They weren't going to have that unity with Buffy there in her current mindset.

Again, I don't think it was necessarily right to doubt her, to kick her out, or any of that, but the reasons seemed quite clear to me while it was all happening. They even seemed clear to Buffy herself. She might not have liked what was happening, but she understood.

Again, I agree (you must be brilliantly smart! heh) about Spike. I've been noticing most of this season that Buffy has been moving away from everyone else, but closer to Spike. It's been interesting, because it began happening (as far as I can see) long before his trigger was deactivated. So he was still very dangerous (though not of his own volition), but she seemed to be trusting him more than she was trusting Giles or any of the other Scoobies.

One reason why is the fact that it's pretty clear that in any contest of loyalties, Spike's loyalty will always be to her. Unlike the rest of the group, he would be loyal to her even if it meant his own death, even if it meant the rest of the Scoobies' deaths, even if it meant the destruction of the world. When you're doubting yourself, that sort of loyalty has to be attractive.
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